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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Saunterings, by Charles Dudley Warner This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Saunterings Author: Charles Dudley Warner Last Updated: February 22, 2009 Release Date: August 22, 2006 [EBook #3128] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SAUNTERINGS *** Produced by David Widger SAUNTERINGS By Charles Dudley Warner Contents MISAPPREHENSIONS CORRECTED PARIS AND LONDON PARIS IN MAY—FRENCH GIRLS—THE EMPEROR AT LONGCHAMPS AN IMPERIAL REVIEW THE LOW COUNTRIES AND RHINELAND GHENT AND ANTWERP AMSTERDAM COLOGNE AND ST. URSULA A GLIMPSE OF THE RHINE HEIDELBERG ALPINE NOTES HEARING THE FREIBURG ORGAN—FIRST SIGHT OF LAKE LEMAN OUR ENGLISH FRIENDS THE DILIGENCE TO CHAMOUNY THE MAN WHO SPEAKS ENGLISH A WALK TO THE GORNER GRAT THE BATHS OF LEUK OVER THE GEMMI BAVARIA. A CITY OF COLOR A CITY LIVING ON THE PAST OUTSIDE ASPECTS OF MUNICH THE MILITARY LIFE OF MUNICH THE EMANCIPATION OF MUNICH FASHION IN THE STREETS THE GOTTESACKER AND BAVARIAN FUNERALS THE OCTOBER FEST THE PEASANTS AND THE KING INDIAN SUMMER A TASTE OF ULTRAMONTANISM CHANGING QUARTERS CHRISTMAS TIME-MUSIC LOOKING FOR WARM WEATHER RAVENNA DOWN TO THE PINETA DANTE AND BYRON RESTING-PLACE OF CAESARS—PICTURE OF A BEAUTIFUL HERETIC A HIGH DAY IN ROME A HIGH DAY IN ROME VESUVIUS SORRENTO DAYS THE VILLA NARDI SEA AND SHORE ON TOP OF THE HOUSE THE PRICE OF ORANGES FASCINATION MONKISH PERCHES A DRY TIME CHILDREN OF THE SUN SAINT ANTONINO PUNTA DELLA CAMPANELLA CAPRI THE STORY OF FIAMMETTA ST. MARIA A CASTELLO THE MYTH OF THE SIRENS MISAPPREHENSIONS CORRECTED I should not like to ask an indulgent and idle public to saunter about with me under a misapprehension. It would be more agreeable to invite it to go nowhere than somewhere; for almost every one has been somewhere, and has written about it. The only compromise I can suggest is, that we shall go somewhere, and not learn anything about it. The instinct of the public against any thing like information in a volume of this kind is perfectly justifiable; and the reader will perhaps discover that this is illy adapted for a text-book in schools, or for the use of competitive candidates in the civil-service examinations. Years ago, people used to saunter over the Atlantic, and spend weeks in filling journals with their monotonous emotions. That is all changed now, and there is a misapprehension that the Atlantic has been practically subdued; but no one ever gets beyond the "rolling forties" without having this impression corrected. I confess to have been deceived about this Atlantic, the roughest and windiest of oceans. If you look at it on the map, it does n't appear to be much, and, indeed, it is spoken of as a ferry. What with the eight and nine days' passages over it, and the laying of the cable, which annihilates distance, I had the impression that its tedious three thousand and odd miles had been, somehow, partly done away with; but they are all there. When one has sailed a thousand miles due east and finds that he is then nowhere in particular, but is still out, pitching about on an uneasy sea, under an inconstant sky, and that a thousand miles more will not make any perceptible change, he begins to have some conception of the unconquerable ocean. Columbus rises in my estimation. I was feeling uncomfortable that nothing had been done for the memory of Christopher Columbus, when I heard some months ago that thirty-seven guns had been fired off for him in Boston. It is to be hoped that they were some satisfaction to him. They were discharged by countrymen of his, who are justly proud that he should have been able, after a search of only a few weeks, to find a land where the hand-organ had never been heard. The Italians, as a people, have not profited much by this discovery; not so much, indeed, as the Spaniards, who got a reputation by it which even now gilds their decay. That Columbus was born in Genoa entitles the Italians to celebrate the great achievement of his life; though why they should discharge exactly thirty-seven guns I do not know. Columbus did not discover the United States: that we partly found ourselves, and partly bought, and gouged the Mexicans out of. He did not even appear to know that there was a continent here. He discovered the West Indies, which he thought were the East; and ten guns would be enough for them. It is probable that he did open the way to the discovery of the New World. If he had waited, however, somebody else would have discovered it,—perhaps some Englishman; and then we might have been spared all the old French and Spanish wars. Columbus let the Spaniards into the New World; and their civilization has uniformly been a curse to it. If he had brought Italians, who neither at that time showed, nor since have shown, much inclination to come, we should have had the opera, and made it a paying institution by this time. Columbus was evidently a person who liked to sail about, and did n't care much for consequences. Perhaps it is not an open question whether Columbus did a good thing in first coming over here, one that we ought to celebrate with salutes and dinners. The Indians never thanked him, for one party. The Africans had small ground to be gratified for the market he opened for them. Here are two continents that had no use for him. He led Spain into a dance of great expectations, which ended in her gorgeous ruin. He introduced tobacco into Europe, and laid the foundation for more tracts and nervous diseases than the Romans had in a thousand years. He introduced the potato into Ireland indirectly; and that caused such a rapid increase of population, that the great famine was the result, and an enormous emigration to New York—hence Tweed and the constituency of the Ring. Columbus is really responsible for New York. He is responsible for our whole tremendous experiment of democracy, open to all comers, the best three in five to win. We cannot yet tell how it is coming out, what with the foreigners and the communists and the women. On our great stage we are playing a piece of mingled tragedy and comedy, with what denouement we cannot yet say. If it comes out well, we ought